Custom Suit & Tuxedo Shopping Advice from BEAU
Last week, we helped you decipher the most common wedding dress codes and explained that what you wear to the wedding is just as important as what you say during your speech. Well, how your wedding day attire is chosen will go one of two ways:
#1 - A specific one is selected for you by the couple.
#2 - You have free reign over your outfit.
If you belong in the first category, which most best men do, then there really isn't much else for you to do. If you fall in the second category, however, then consider yourself lucky because you have a valid excuse to buy fresh gear. But, before you beeline for a store and whip out your wallet, let's first discuss a viable but often forgotten option for your wedding ensemble - a custom suit or, if the wedding is on the formal side, a custom tuxedo.
We're huge fans of bespoke clothing because there is nothing better and more powerful than clothes that fit perfectly. To talk to us about custom clothing and help navigate us through the ins and outs of the bespoke world is Greg Willybiro, VP of Business Operations at BEAU. BEAU is a NYC- and DC-based provider of tailored clothing that operates nationwide. They offer a wide range of custom pieces and have helped countless best men look and feel their best. They've also generously offered all Best Man Speech Writer clients and blog readers a special promotion on their first bespoke suit and shirt order (details below). But first, and without further adieu, here's our conversation with Mr. Willybiro:
Q: For those setting out in search of a custom suit tailor, what should they look for to determine the tailor/establishment’s experience?
A: There are a lot of custom suit companies out there so it can get a little confusing. The process of getting a custom suit is so collaborative that I'd say the number one thing to look for is the quality of the service - and checking customer reviews is a good way to make sure of that. Then, understanding the fabric's quality and suit's construction is very important as well. I recommend learning a little bit about custom suiting before reaching out to a custom company. There a lot of resources online to get educated about custom suiting.
Q: Most think that a custom suit comes with a hefty price tag and, therefore, immediately don't consider it as an option. What are your thoughts on this line of thinking?
A: The main thing that makes most people shy away from taking the custom suit route, I think, is not price but the length of the process (5-8 weeks). I say this because the price range of a custom suit is fairly wide - starting from $550 all the way up to $5,000 depending on the grade of the fabric - and most custom places have starting prices that are within the same price range of a good quality ready-to-wear suit from well-known brands like Boss and J.Crew. Our starting price for a custom 2-piece suit is $690 which is actually less than most good quality 2-piece ready-to-wear suits. Our mission is to provide men with quality custom suits that will fit them, their style and budget well. And we prefer to play the long-term game with our customers; which is evident not only in our fair and competitive pricing, but also in our level of service and the quality of our custom products.
Q: What is the number one mistake men commit when it comes to choosing/purchasing a tuxedo or suit?
A: I'd say putting price over fit. Never assume that the prestige of the brand plays a major role in your final look because one who buys a well-fitted $300 tuxedo suit will always look 10 times better than someone who buys an ill-fitting $3,000 one.
Q: Is there a way to ensure that a tuxedo and suit will be on-trend for many years?
A: There are a few timeless basics when it comes to men suiting. First is tuxedo. A nice black tux will never go out of style (notch lapel, single-breasted with 1 or 2 buttons), although a midnight blue tuxedo is an incredible look and is currently on-trend. As far as regular suits, sticking to a crisp navy, grey or charcoal that is preferably single-breasted with 2 buttons and notch or peak lapels is a safe bet for a timeless suit.
Q: Please explain to us the process of getting a custom tuxedo or suit so best men know what to expect when they come to BEAU.
A: At the first appointment, the client would either meet with one of our stylists in one of our showrooms or the stylist can directly meet the client in his home or office. During this appointment, the stylist will guide the client through all the fabric and customization choices and the session will end with the client's measurements being taken. Next, the suit is manufactured. Then when the suit is completed, the client will come back in for a try-on with our master tailor where any adjustments or alterations will be taken care of. The traditional way of custom fitting typically includes a fitting while the garment is half-finished. But we decided on skipping the intermediary fitting - which saves approximately 2 weeks in the process - and instead build our suits with sewn-in extra fabric so that they can be easily modified if needed. Our process enables us to have custom suits ready for our customers within 5 weeks - which is 2 to 3 weeks faster than most other custom suit providers.
Q: How far in advance would you recommend the best man come to you for his custom suit?
We would recommend at least 8-9 weeks before the Big Day. This give us a good safe timeline to take care of everything. We've also found that a lot of our wedding clients first come in for a suit only but once they try on the suit they want to add a shirt, or even bring in other groomsmen who initially planned on renting to instead purchase a custom one, etc. - so we recommend 8-9 weeks to leave us with enough time to take care of any these cases.
Q: The best man sometimes takes on the responsibility of managing the groomsmen’s fittings - can you accommodate a large group?
Absolutely. Weddings are a big part of our business so we are used to and welcome large groups. We've also found that it is sometimes easier for the party to have everybody present so they could play around with ideas and suggestions.
Q: What else can a best man custom order from BEAU?
A: We also offer custom shirts and overcoats. For overcoats, it is essentially the same process and level of customization as our custom suits. For our custom shirts, in addition to our wide range of fabrics, our clients get to pick from a variety of buttons, stitchings, contrasted inner cuffs and collar, monogram options and so forth.
Q: BEAU has a NYC and DC location - are you able to work with best men who reside outside of either cities?
A: Absolutely. The communication between our NY and DC locations is so seamless that handling a wedding party based in separate cities is no problem. Even for those beyond DC and NY, we have a network of tailors where the best man and/or members of the wedding party can go to get their measurements taken.
Q: You also offer personal shopper services which would be a very useful service for a busy best man. Can you tell us more about this service?
We noticed that the majority of our clients would often come back to our stylists for fashion advice and what they should wear in general so we decided to expand our service offering to include a personal shopper service. The idea behind our personal shopper service is that we want to empower each of our clients with the freedom and ability to make requests for their clothing needs at any time of the day. Our stylists handpick a selection of items from the City's top stores and same-day deliver the carefully-selected items to our clients. Our personal shopper service is currently available in New York only but we will soon begin offering it to our DC-based clients.
Q: Any advice for best men in regards to their tuxedo or suit?
A steamer is a suited man's best friend because it'll help you keep your tuxedo or suit looking crisp. There are a lot of steamers available in the market at different price points (with some even being conveniently portable) that you'll be spoiled with choice. And so long as the steamer will let you take care of any wrinkles in your tuxedo or suit, you don't need to purchase an expensive one. Keep in mind that the wedding toast is a best man's moment of fame that will be photographed, videotaped and - with the help of the folks at Best Man Speech Writer - talked about for years for its epic-ness so definitely do look your best and rock that crisp, nice jacket while delivering your speech.
PROMOTIONAL OFFER: BEAU has generously offered all Best Man Speech Writer clients and blog readers a promotional offer of $100 off your first suit and $35 off your first shirt. Just mention us - Best Man Speech Writer - to get your bespoke shopping on. And act fast because this promotion is valid for 1 (one) month from the date of this post. Take advantage of this offer here: www.beau.com.
UPDATE: This promotional offer has ended.